WATER Recommends: November 2016

Tap into what we’re reading at the WATER office with the following resources.

All of the books we recommend are available for the borrowing from the Carol Murdock Scinto Library in the WATER office. Check out librarything.com for our complete collection. We are grateful to the many publishers who send us review copies to promote to the WATER community.

Adams, Carol J., Editor. THE CAROL J. ADAMS READER: WRITINGS AND CONVERSATIONS 1995-2015. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016 (433 pages, $29.95).

Read this brilliant feminist vegan theorist whose incisive analysis and steadfast commitment to justice for all of creation compels action. Whether on meat-eating or abortion, care-giving or anti-speciesism, Carol invites the reader to share her worldview. To read her is to be open to life-changing practices, and to appreciate the power of words to transform the world.

THE CEB WOMEN’S BIBLE. Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2016 (1650 pages, $49.99).

Eighty editors and commentators from a dozen faith communities collaborated to produce this version of the Bible. Many are scriptures scholars, pastors, writers who dug into the texts to find hidden gems and to highlight interpretations that will be liberating. The short intros to chapters and the even shorter comments woven into the text offer basic insights and helpful data. Many preachers and study groups will find this a translation of choice.

Clark Moschella, Mary. CARING FOR JOY: NARRATIVE, THEOLOGY, AND PRACTICE. Leiden: Brill, 2016 (303 pages, $66.00).

In a welcome discussion, Clark Moschella suggests caregivers move away from concentration solely on suffering to a more holistic pastoral care that includes an emphasis on joy. She weaves together the theological and spiritual practices of joy through five narratives of diverse caregivers. Of interest are the narratives of Heidi Neumark and Pauli Murray.

Ganley, Rosemary. JAMAICA JOURNAL: THE STORY OF A GRASSROOTS CANADIAN AID ORGANIZATION. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada: Yellow Dragonfly Press, 2016 (296 pages, $21.95).

Rosemary Ganley is a gifted journalist, social justice worker extraordinaire, and treasured WATER colleague. The story of the NGO Jamaican Self-Help, its inspiration, productive work, and demise because of Canadian government funding cuts is also the story of Rosemary and her husband John Ganley (who passed away in 2013). They breathed life into JSH. With their family and friends they model solidarity work as a form of enjoyable, productive, and generous living. An inspiring and inspiriting read.

Hayes, Diana L. NO CRYSTAL STAIR: WOMANIST SPIRITUALITY. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2016 (176 pages, $23.00).

In essays and prayers, Diana L. Hayes opens readers to the “creative spark” of womanist spirituality. She provides a fruitful overview of the history of womanism as it mirrors her own spiritual journey and intimacy with God. Her most profound spiritual moments—conversion to Catholicism, chronic illness, death of her mother—help anyone looking to deepen their understanding of womanism, intersectionality, and inclusion.

Kim, Grace Ji-Sun. MAKING PEACE WITH THE EARTH. Geneva, Switzerland: World Council of Churches Publications, 2016 (274 pages, $25.00).

A roadmap that blends faith and climate activism, these essays by faith leaders, and environmental activists show how religious communities globally tackle climate change through action, advocacy, and theology. Sections on eco-theology and interfaith initiatives are particularly compelling. Jea Sophia Oh’s chapter, “A Korean Postcolonial Eco-Feminist Theology of Life,” and Fletcher Harper’s chapter on faith communities and fossil-fuel divestment offer unique faith-based perspectives on Creation and climate advocacy.

Reid, Barbara E. WISDOM’S FEAST: AN INVITATION TO FEMINIST INTERPRETATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016 (154 pages, $16.00).

The sometimes-daunting process of interpreting scriptures is made transparent in this useful volume. While postcolonial approaches remain to be integrated, this primer is a go-to text for those who want to learn the basics a la Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and apply them to commonly used texts.

Reid, Barbara E., General Editor. WISDOM COMMENTARY. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.

WATER welcomes this new series that will eventually provide diverse feminist biblical interpretation of every book in the bible. In addition to comments on translation and context, each volume includes reflections by various feminist scholars. An important collection for scholars, pastors, teachers and students. Here are a few of the early ones:

Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015 (126 pages, $39.95).

Rather than shy away from the overt personification of a male God’s divine authority found in Haggai and Malachi, Davis meets the theme head on in her commentary. She provides the authors’ contexts as well as insight on masculinity and power today. Includes an insightful reflection from WATER former visiting scholar Rachel A.R. Bundang, PhD.

O’Brien, Julia M. MICAH: WISDOM COMMENTARY (Vol. 37). Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015 (141 pages, $39.95).

O’Brien begins her commentary asking: “Does [justice] look the same for women as for men? Who gets to define justice?” She explores these questions and others with an eye towards creating justice in the future for all. Community reflections on various experiences and attempts at hope give this volume the well deserved gravitas.

Taylor, Marion Ann, Editor and Agnes Choi, Associate Editor. HANDBOOK OF WOMEN BIBLICAL INTERPRETERS: A HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE. Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 2012 (585 pages, $45.00).

Many women have taken on the task of biblical interpretation with such varied and rich results. Short bios of them show that many were activists, ministers, writers, etc. for whom the Hebrew and Christian scriptures were key to their analysis. This is a useful resource for scholars and students who seek an historical panorama of the many ways women handled these texts.